SuperTed returned in a big way in round 16. It was another dominant performance for the Chooks over the Broncos and this time Teddy was there to cash in with 176 points. It would have been such a kick in the teeth not to have captained or VC’d him. I capitalised on his mammoth score for the first time this year so avoided the toaster bath this week.
Unfortunately for some, myself included, I completely nailed the avoids last week. DCE scored 20, Ponga had 31 and then Mitchell, who was on his way to a big game, had his hammy torn apart and will now miss months. It’s not how I wanted it to happen. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery Trell.
Speaking of Teddy, he and his Roosters are one part of round 17’s two blockbuster games. Sydney take on Canberra in Super Saturday’s primetime match. And before that, The Storm are taking on the suddenly resurgent Bunnies on Friday. Both games have a plethora of Supercoach relevant players and will be essential viewing. So, let’s take a look at our potential captains for week 17.
Nathan Cleary – Round 16 Score – 89 – 2020 Position Average – 72.3
Obviously, right? Everything fits for Cleary this weekend. He’s quite literally* on fire (*not literally. Figuratively). His last five scores are 89, 99, 92, 88 and 138. That’s an incredible 5RA of 101.2. Unreal. It almost doesn’t even matter who he’s playing against. Except he gets the huge bonus of playing the Broncos this week.
Cleary’s recent games against Brisbane have only produced 55, 80, 57 and 57 but this year the Bronx are allowing 72.3 PPG to right halves. 16 games at a 70+ average is crazy. And if I’m being completely honest, it seems to be getting worse as the year goes on. The most recent scores from a right half on the Bronx are:
- Round 16: Kyle Flanagan – 92
- Round 15: Corey Norman – 83
- Round 14: George Williams – 96
- Round 13: Adam Reynolds – 81
- Round 12: Shaun Johnson – 70
- Round 11: Jahrome Hughes – 93
- Round 10: Benji Marshall – 101
I would count just SJ as a prominent Supercoach performer, and yet that run of scores is huge. This could be an all-time game for Cleary. What’s the record again?
*In saying that, it could literally be any Panther this week. Just check out these numbers being allowed to the key Penrith players positions opposing the Broncos.
- Viliame Kikau – 59.4 PPG
- Josh Mansour – 56.8 PPG
- Dylan Edwards – 74.0 PPG
- Brian To’o – 56.8 PPG
- Jarome Luai – 60.4 PPG
- Stephen Crichton – 51.2 PPG
Take your pick.
Kalyn Ponga – Round 16 Score – 31 – 2020 Position Average – 64.6
I did not expect or enjoy this last week. Ponga may as well not even have been out there. He was rendered completely irrelevant by an amazing performance from the Warriors and a lacklustre Knights outfit. The only saving grace for me was that I was out and couldn’t watch it.
And listen, in the spirit of transparency, this weeks opponents ,the Sharks, are Ponga’s worst team to play. He’s met them three times for an average of 23 points, which is over 20 points less than his next lowest average vs an opponent. His first game against them was a 1 point outing when he got hurt but still played 46 minutes. And his highest score against Cronulla (38) is lower than his minimum score against eight other teams. It’s not great reading.
But, let’s talk about the positive. This year, the Sharks are giving up plenty of points to fullbacks. Over the past two months, fullbacks have averaged 76.1 points on them. Those have been Drinkwater (55), Edwards (65), Brimson (68), Gutherson (26 – pouring rain), Boyd (111 – not a typo), Dufty (90), RTS (68) and Edwards again (126). Not bad right?
The problem with this pick is that it rules out Teddy as a captain choice. So I can understand their being a reluctance. But if for some reason you’re wanting to zig instead of zag, here’s your man.
A.J. Brimson – Round 16 Score – 88 – 2020 Position Average – 74.7
When both Dylan Brown and Shaun Johnson were ruled out for me this week, the first name I went to find was A.J. Brimson. This kid has been phenomenal and has seen his since rise by $180k. I’m really regretting not grabbing him when he was a much more affordable $360k odd. His return against the Chooks was only 18 points but I’m happy to write that off considering the circumstances. Since then, 112, 68, 90 and 88. The Titans do play in the first Saturday game, but he’s worth a serious look with his opponent and later captaincy options.
The Dogs defensive woes have been spoken about plenty this year, and they will be spoken about again. Of that, I have no doubt. I mean, I’d be more confident of it if it were Turbo and Latrell lining up on them over the next two rounds but thems the breaks (still holding out some hope for Tom). They did hold Charnze to 39 points last weekend and honestly, troubled the Raiders far more than anyone expected. But that was the third lowest score they’ve allowed all year and only time a fullback has dropped under 50 since round eight. They’ve been leaking points and A.J. is next in line to cash in.
Jazz Tevaga – Round 16 Score – 92 – 2020 Position Average – 60.9
I don’t care who you support or if you’re an owner, or even if he just helped destroy your NRL side, you have to love Jazz hands. His workrate is second to none and his PPM rate is incredible. Just check out these numbers for his season: 1.19, 1.53, 1.04, 1.62, 1.49, 1.51, 1.38 and 1.77.
There’s just one minor problem with that. He’s only averaging 47 minutes per game. He’s just super efficient in the limited game time he’s given. He’s played a little more in the past two weeks (56 MPG), scored better because of it (87.5 PPG) and the Warriors have won both of those games. Could be a coincidence but why mess with what’s working? Keep the man out there.
Parramatta, on paper, present a much stiffer challenge in round 17 but in reality, they’re struggling to put together a solid performance on the field. They are 3-2 over the past five weeks. Their wins have been 18-16 over the Dogs, 14-12 on the Sharks and 14-0 to the Storm’s reserve grade side. Adversely, they have lost 14-12 to the Dragons and are fresh off a 38-0 drubbing at the hands of the Bunnies. During that time, they’re giving up 64.2 PPG to the lock position making Jazzy a great captain choice.
Payne Haas – Round 16 Score – DNP (susp) – 2020 Position Average – 50.8
It’s a bit of a strange one since the Broncos play the first game of the round, but Haas still has outright captaincy potential. He’s missed the last two games through suspension and will be champing at the bit to get back out there. And against the NRL leaders, he’ll need to be at his very best. They’re allowing just 50.8 PPG to front rowers on the season. Across 32 starting players, that doesn’t seem like an overly low number but no other team allows as low an average from their front row opponents.
But Haas is not your standard front rower. He hasn’t had a single game under that mark this year. His lowest score is 54 and it’s the only score he’s had in that range. Otherwise, he’s averaging 75.9 PPG. He’s just incredibly consistent and equally dominant. Couple that with his only game against Penrith being a 112 beastmode outing last year. The Broncos need to put something together in these last few weeks and Haas is the man to lead them. He’s in for a big week.
Josh Papalii – Round 16 Score – 87 – 2020 Position Average – 50.8
I know I just said that the Panthers allow the least points to front rowers and then have the same P2P listed. It’s very close but it’s true: 50.78 for the Chooks vs 50.75 above. Sydney are still a very staunch defensive team but big Papa pump gets up for Roosters games. They’re like his own personal white line fever. He’s played them 12 times across his career for an average of 72 points, a good six points more than his next best.
He had 82 points against the Chooks in the sides first matchup from round 10. He also has scores of 101, 73, 86 and 71 leading up to that and even added a 66 in the season decider last year. He just loves to play them and will be primed for another clutch performance on Saturday night.
James Tedesco – Round 16 Score – 176 – 2020 Position Average – 67.8
Another Teddy masterclass. Captainers rejoice. He’s been on a ridiculous run this year with some crazy highs and his lows have been few and far between. They are there though so he’s not a stone cold lock. However, with that 176, Tedesco now holds 4 of the top 10 single game Supercoach scores of all-time. Three of those have come this year. Let’s take a quick look at those three shall we?
- Round 5 vs Bulldogs – the all-time greatest Supercoach performance with 199 points. He followed it up with a 63 vs Parramatta (and KO).
- Round 9 vs Cowboys – number 7 on the list with 178 points. He scored 77 the next week against this weeks opponent, Canberra.
- Round 16 vs Broncos – 176 points, eighth highest. The next week vs Canberra…??
The fact is, all three of the scores, while amazing, came against the bottom three teams this year. And he wasn’t able to make as splash the following week. They’re not bad scores but you’d want more from your captain.
Let me tell you why he’s a good choice though. Before the 77 in round 10, Teddy’s other scores on Canberra recently were 61 (grand final), 82, 118, and 74. Plus Canberra’s inability to shut down the opposing fullback this year. They’ve been giving up some big points all season with that near 65 PPG clip being one of the best (or worst) in the league. Full disclosure though, over the last five weeks, Canberra have flipped that script to be allowing the least points in the comp (43 PPG). There are solid arguments both sides but this is Teddy and I like him to go big again.
Daly Cherry-Evans – Round 16 Score – 20 – 2020 Position Average – 51.9
Bounce back game for the Manly skipper here. He was well and truly shut out by the Storm last week but better Supercoach players than he have suffered the same fate. There is some good news on the very close horizon though. Partially in the form of the West Tigers. I don’t often cheer for the Sea Eagles in any match, but for what the Tigers have done to Benji this week, I hope they get punished.
But anyway, the Tigers are allowing a shade under 52 PPG to right halves this year, which is actually 68 PPG over the last three weeks. Number 1 playmaker and goal kicker Nathan Cleary had 89 last week on this same Tigers outfit and I add that because of this next little bit of good news. Well, not good news for Reuben Garrick who is out of the side with a shoulder injury. But that means DCE is now the first choice kicker for the side. If you take DCE’s 58 point average and add in Garrick’s roughly 8 PPG average for goal kicks, it’s a nice little floor to work from for DCE to give you a potential monster.
Matt Dufty – Round 16 Score – 25 – 2020 Position Average – 70.7
After getting a brutal threat early on (perform or go play for the Titans), Dufty has responded and had a great year. But his past few games have left a lot to be desired. It’s been five weeks since he had anything close to a captains game, scoring just 48, 26, 59 and 25 since. And those two most recent ones were against the Broncos and Titans. But third time’s a charm. Dufty and the Dragons complete the Queensland trifecta this week, heading north to take on the Cowboys in the rounds closing game. And if we’re being honest, they are terrible right now. Yet somehow still not the worst Queensland team. Hi, Broncos fans.
Last week, the Sharks custodian Will Kennedy had his best game all year by a fairly large margin. And it wasn’t because of scoring tries, although he did manage to set two up. And that’s Dufty’s bread and butter. He loves a sweep play and cut out ball to his wingers. He’s got 11 try assists in Supercoach this year, although only 9 according to NRL.com. Either way, it delivers a huge chunk of his points and with the Dragons pushing for a finals spot against a team missing Morgan and Taumalolo, Dufty will be out to steer his team to a handy victory.
Cody Walker – Round 16 Score – 102 – 2020 Position Average – 45.1
I spoke about this in DCE’s write up last weekend, how the Storm were allowing so few points to opposing halves. In DCE’s case, it was 43.1 and then they held him to 20. They also held Cust to the same score on the other side of the field, the side of the field that Cody plays. The Bunnies are in a far better place this season than Manly are but it’s still a concerning stat for me.
There’s just something about the Storm defence. No matter the opponent or personnel, they don’t concede big games. Case in point, the Eels 14-0 win over the depleted Storm side of round 15. Eels spine players combined for an average of 45.8 that day. Left side half Dylan Brown had 57. Then there’s Cody’s history. He’s such an explosive player but his games against Melbourne have been 60, 77, 30, 27 and 55. My point is, I’m not backing in a repeat performance for Walker.
Mitchell Moses – Round 16 Score – 45 – 2020 Position Average – 59.6
Speaking of Eels players under performing, I give you the poster boy for that, Mitch Moses. Remember when he average over 60, was a demon at Bankwest and one of many Supercoach’s first picked halves for 2020? It seems so long ago that he was deemed a must have. This season he’s averaging just 52.6 points and has looked a shell of his 2019 self. His last five weeks have been 80, 52, 55, 41 and 45. They 80 came against the Dogs when he scored a try too.
Coming into round 17, New Zealand are anything but easy-beats. They’ve really stepped up their game as the season goes on. It’s like the usual travel fatigue that plagues them at this point of the year is gone and replaced by a new invigorated energy that other teams are struggling to find in COVID life. In the past two games, they’ve kept right halves Mitchell Pearce (39) and Jack Cogger (47) super quiet. Moses could be next.
Mitch Barnett – Round 16 Score – 43 – 2020 Position Average – 67.1
I badly wanted to make Barnett a good option this week, what with the Sharks giving up big points to locks but there are a couple of things that have held me back.
First, it was the Knights performance last week. It was awful. I don’t know what it is about this team but whenever I start to have a little bit of faith in them, they’ll come out and produce that. It’s like they pick teams and decide there’s no need to try because it’s a guaranteed two points. Losses to the Cowboys and Dogs prove that you can’t do that this season and yet they took the Warriors far too lightly.
And secondly, he scored just 43 in the game but that was largely due to yet another injury. The man cannot stay healthy. He’s got a sternum issue which is reportedly requiring a needle to play. He’s come out and said himself that he’ll 100% be playing but with that going on I’d be cautious of his production.
My Trade Ins (Super avoid)
This isn’t going to help anyone but at the time of writing, I have no idea what trades I’m doing this weekend, if any. It’s not that my team is settled or good. Not at all. But moreso that I have so many issues and so few trades left that I don’t know what to do or where to start. I’d love to get Haas in but would need to raise some funds to do so and again, I have no 5/8. So that’s not going to work. I’ll figure it out but I wish you well in whatever I do.
It just has to be Cleary this week. After all the trash the Broncos are dishing up, I cannot possibly go past him as a VC play. Especially with what looks to be a certain 0 in my lineup, pending trades. Teddy will be my backup option if it’s needed. And it’s not a bad back up, right?
As always, you can ask me any follow-ups in the comments below, or even hit me up on twitter @dlake631, and hopefully I’ll be able to help some more. Good luck for the round ahead.